Softbank-backed Ola unveils first operating profit ahead of potential IPO
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Softbank-backed homegrown ride hailing major Ola Cabs reported its first Ebitda profit at ₹89.82 crore for financial year 2020-2021 (FY21) even as revenue growth slowed for the ride aggregator in a covid-hit year, according to company filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). 

Ebitda is short for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation. The company had reported an Ebitda loss of about ₹610.18 crore in FY20. Profitability was driven by a sharp fall in expenses for the company's mobility business, Ola Cabs, to ₹682.8 crore in FY21 from ₹2683.2 crore in the previous year.

Standalone income of ANI Technologies, which only includes cab hailing business Ola Cabs, stood at Rs 772.68 crore in FY’21, a 63% drop from Rs 2073 crore since FY’20.  While consolidated income for ANI Technologies, including food tech venture Ola Foods and financial services platform Ola Financial Services, dropped to Rs 1039.7 crore in FY’21 from Rs 2721.3 crore in FY’20. 

Operating revenue for Ola Cabs alone stood at Rs 689.6 crore in FY’21, a 65% decline compared to the year before as covid continued to impact travel throughout the year. 

Earlier in September this year, Ola chief and co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal said that gross merchandise value (GMV) of mobility business Ola Cabs has now crossed pre-covid levels. 

“Our Ola cabs GMV crossed pre-covid levels last week. Recovery from the second wave is three times faster [...] 10 million people used Ola for the first time ever in FY21 [...] Many are moving to autos, taking our auto business to almost 150% of pre-covid levels,” said Aggarwal in a series of tweets on microblogging website Twitter.

The ride hailing industry, which includes cabs, bike taxis as well as autos recorded 71 million trips worth $164 million in January, this year, marking a 63% recovery in rides from pre-pandemic levels, according to estimates from management consultancy RedSeer Consulting.  By March-end, recovery bounced back to 69% of pre-covid levels.

With the second wave engulfing the country starting March, this year, recovery volumes for the sector were expected to be impacted by 30% - 40%, the management consultancy estimated in May 2021.

Mint reported on August 31 that ANI Technologies was onboarding investment bankers as a run up to its initial public offering (IPO). The company is looking to hit the domestic public markets by the first quarter of 2022. 

Ola is looking to raise between $1.5 billion and $2 billion through its public listing on the domestic exchanges next year and is targeting a valuation of almost $18 billion, Mint reported earlier.

Earlier in July, this year, Temasek Holdings and Warburg Pincus invested $500 million in ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Founder Aggarwal also participated in the round.

Aggarwal currently owns a 7.9% stake in the 11-year-old company, according to researcher Tracxn.

Earlier this month, Ola Cabs acquired geo-analytics technology platform GeoSpoc

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